Okay so Halloween was never a huge celebration for me growing up. When we realized there were sweets at stake my friends and I dressed up and started ringing on our neighbours doorbells. “Trick or treat” we would state proudly, smiles grinning. One of us donned a sheet as a ghost with little holes for eyes that were very lopsided. The other black cat ears and the last a broom and a cape (she was a witch). “Excuse me?” was the reply in Norwegian. “What are you….are you singing Christmas tunes already?” One old couple had us come in and sing renditions of “Holy Night” – we must have been a sight. A ghost, a cat and a witch singing Carols, but hey, we would do anything for treats. When we were finished, however, we were shown to the door which then shut behind us. There we stood, with hoarse voices and no sweets. We rung the bell again. “You have to give us sweets now” we stated, a tad more insistent. “Oh heavens!” the couple exclaimed. “Lets see what we have”. What they had were chocolates. Not delicious caramel plump chocolate drops from heaven, no. Chocolate full of liquor tasting mush. It was devastatingly disgusting. We sat on my front steps amidst piles of racked leaves and peeled off the chocolate in attempt to rescue the “good bits”. It seems Halloween has taken off a bit more in Norway, but I have to say when I look back on it, I am happy my Halloween’s were just just the way they were. It reminds me that fun isn’t the result of buckets full of sweets, nor having the most elaborate costume. It’s about doing something with friends, meeting new people and just keeping things simple. Perhaps that’s the Norwegian in me that is (partly) turned off by gaudy house decorations (some are really fun but some are just nuts!) and children gnawing away at hand fulls of sweets like Veruca Salta. Halloween, however, reminds me of those who have passed and who I miss terribly. Some of them I never met, such as my grand-fathers. Some I knew only three years of my life, my grandmother. And some have passed in what feels unfair ways and far too early in life. In short, All Hallow’s Eve and the Day of the Dead (November 2nd) remind me of how I should enjoy my life and the process without letting too many self imposed complications crowd the experience. Off I go to make (potentially just buy) candied apples. Hey, you can’t blame me for loving caramel covered apples? It’s about enjoying remember? te he.